Martin Shkreli Takes The Fifth

Martin Shkreli - Twitter account photoEarlier today, the "bad boy of pharma", Martin Shkreli, was summoned to testify before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee for a hearing on Prescription Drug Prices.

Shkreli had warned for weeks that he would likely be invoking the Fifth Amendment if he appeared in front of the Committee. On the advice of his counsel, Shkreli did exactly that, much to the dismay of the members of the Committee who tried to get him to discuss his decision to hike the price of Daraprim by 5,451%.

Over the course of the 10 minute proceeding, Shkreli conferred with his attorney multiple times and frequently invoked the Fifth Amendment. Members of the Committee tried to engage Shkreli on a number of topics, including his recent $2 million purchase of a Wu-Tang Clan album. Shkreli didn't bite - the only piece of information that he offered was the correct pronunciation of his name.

Shkreli, however, didn't hold back on his Twitter account after being dismissed from his testimony, as he called the lawmakers "imbeciles". This likely didn't please his attorney, who earlier in the week had advised Shkreli not to make any more statements to the public.


Martin Shkreli burst on to the scene in 2015 after his firm, Turing Pharmaceuticals, purchased Daraprim for $55 million and almost immediately hiked the price from $13.50 to $750 per pill. Daraprim is on the list of the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines and is used to treat malaria and Toxoplasma gondii.

Many drug companies hike the price of drugs, but it was Shkreli's lack of contrition that angered the general public. According to Shkreli, he was running a for-profit venture and needed to make money for his shareholders. Shkreli appeared on a number of TV programs and was eviscerated by the public, but remained unrepentant.

Shkreli popped up in the media once again after it was revealed that he had purchased a large stake in KaloBios Pharmaceuticals. The company, which was in the process of winding down its operations, saw its shares increase by over 2,000% after short sellers were caught in an unrelenting short squeeze. Shkreli was named the company's CEO.

In December of 2015, Shkreli was arrested on charges of securities fraud relating to his time with MSMB Capital Management and Retrophin LLC. Shkreli resigned as CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals and was terminated as the CEO of KaloBios Pharmaceuticals as a result. Shkreli is currently out on bail.


The long, strange journey of Martin Shkreli continues. If Shkreli's end goal is to make himself famous, it's working, as the "bad boy of pharma" is currently one of the top trending topics on both Twitter and Google News.

Filed under: General Knowledge

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